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Ara Costas has it all—riches, power, and the kind of beauty that attracts all the right people. He’s flying high and loves his life, until a serious car accident leaves him horribly scarred. Ara becomes an angry recluse, hiding away in his Chicago high-rise apartment, running his multimillion-dollar business from behind a computer screen.
Ilias Adams is a quiet farm boy who keeps his nose buried in books. A great education and stellar resume land him a job as Ara’s assistant and liaison to the board of directors. Little did he know when he signed up for this dream job that he’d end up working for the world’s moodiest, most uptight boss.
Ilias is scared of Ara at times, but he recognizes the challenge he faces when he meets Ara and sees the reason for the man’s anger. Ara is guarded and suspicious, since he can’t believe anyone can bear to look at him. Despite all this, Ilias is determined to turn the beast into a beauty again, at least on the inside, and tear down the walls Ara has so carefully constructed around him.
So, everyone knows the story of Beauty and the Beast, right? Well, imagine that in modern times, with two men and you have the essential storyline for Beast.
Ara was a vain, douche-bag. Mean, cocky, self-centered. He gets mutilated in a car accident and now can’t stand the sight of himself. He’s still so vain and self-centered that he’s kept himself locked away in his apartment for the last seven years running his father’s company.
Ilias is a farm boy who just graduated from business school. He’s trying to prove to his father that he can make it in the city and that his education was worth leaving the farm for. He applies for and is accepted as Ara’s assistant and “front man”. The face that will be presented to the board in Ara’s stead.
Ara is known to go through assistant’s like water due to his strict rules and contrary nature, but something clicks between him and Ilias and before they know it, they have moved from employee/employer to friend and then to lover.
The story actually moves the couple together in a relatively short time, but it takes many pages for them to even touch. We get to see both POVs in most circumstances so we really get an in depth appreciation of what each is feeling.
Ara is deeply scarred by his experience and needs so much personal growth to get to the point where he can appreciate that beauty is only skin deep.
Ilias has his own insecurities, but for the most part he is our savior in this story, dragging Ara along into the light of self awareness.
The authors have done an excellent job of following the old fairy tale but modernizing it and making it gay. I really enjoyed the care and depth of the characters, including the secondary characters that was taken.
Though Ara’s weaknesses proved tiring, especially toward the end, Ilias really pulled the story together and kept me invested in the couple. I adored his character and really felt that he and Ara made a great couple.
The narration by KC Kelly is practically perfect. He does such an excellent job with changing characters voices and giving real emotion to the story. I felt his accent for Ara was more Russian than Greek, but I’m no linguist! In any case it felt “erupoean” and absolutely worked!
I would absolutely recommend listening to this more than reading simply because KC Kelly does so much for the story.
I highly recommend this story and audiobook and give both 5 of 5 hearts.